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Research Project: Commercial Flocculants from Low-Value Animal Protein


Project Number: 8072-41440-023-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Mar 24, 2015
End Date: Feb 18, 2020

1: Enable commercial processes for transforming animal protein into new marketable flocculants. 1a. Develop processing techniques for the solubilization of rendered protein with emphasis on intact proteins and high molar mass protein fragments. 1b. Evaluate technological alternatives for transforming raw chicken blood into a high potency flocculant at low processing cost. 2: Enable market growth for flocculants based on animal proteins by improving their performance and expanding their market applications. 2a. Apply a series of covalent modification strategies to improve blood and rendered protein flocculant performance. 2b. Identify particular application areas to which blood and rendered protein flocculants are well suited.

Both rendered protein and chicken blood have inherent flocculant properties, but these substances also have other properties which make them unsuitable for commercial flocculant applications in their ‘raw’ state. Poor solubility is a primary obstacle to commercial utilization of rendered protein as a flocculant. Instability, high water content, and dark red color are among the obstacles to blood utilization. The project will focus on developing processing techniques for surmounting these obstacles under Objective 1. With the current state-of-the-art, rendered protein or blood flocculants have significant performance limitations. Improving their performance through covalent modifications is the focus of Objective 2a. Finally, any class of flocculants is well suited to some particular application areas and not to other areas. In Objective 2b, the focus is on identifying particular application areas appropriate for rendered protein and blood flocculants.